“THE REAL LIFE OF... BORIS RYZHY”: ON THE BOOK “BORIS RYZHY. INTRODUCTION TO MYTHOLOGY” BY ALEXEY MELNIKOV
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Abstract: The article analyzes the book “Boris Ryzhy. Introduction to Mythology” by Alexey Melnikov (2016, 2017) – one of the newest books about the poet and his biography. Widely known in the in Russian capitals and abroad, B. Ryzhy (1974–2001) is a notable figure for modern Ekaterinburg’s literature. The interest to the history of his life, together with the popularity of his poems among readers, is largely due to the biographical myth that has formed around the Ryzhy thanks to his life-giving attitudes. Unlike the previously published biography-like works – for example, “The Poet Boris Ryzhy” by Yuri Kazarin (2009) and “Boris Ryzhy. Divy Stone” by Ilya Falikov (2015) – the book by A. Melnikov was originally developed as a collection of interviews and memories of people who personally knew the poet; generally this work was conceived as a kind of journalistic investigation aimed at identifying and distinguishing facts and myths in Ryzhy’s biography. However, due to a number of external circumstances, it was partly reformatted and acquired a marginal, transitional character by the time of its release, on the one hand, preserving rudimental elements of the non-fiction genre, and on the other, claiming its literary character at different levels. The article presents the idea of the two possible ways of reading Melnikov’s book: as a nonfiction, therefore provoking a number of critical remarks, and as a pseudo-nonfictional narrative, organized by Melnikov’s subjectivity as a narrator, obeying the deep level of the story creation. Despite the fact that the literary character of Melnikov’s book is conditional, reading it as a literary and artistic work that reproduces the plot of a biographical detective, surprisingly “predicted” by V. Nabokov’s novel “The Real Life of Sebastian Knight”, suggests that Melnikov’s role in the functioning biographical myth of B. Ryzhy is culturally and structurally given.
Key words: BIOGRAPHICAL MYTHS; CULT POETS; INTERVIEW; REMINISCENCES; POETS’ BIOGRAPHIES; BIOGRAPHICAL DETECTIVE NOVELS; LITERARY MYSTIFICATION; PSEUDO-NON-FICTION; POETIC ACTIVITY; URALS POETS
Arsenova, T. A. “The Real Life of... Boris Ryzhy”: on the Book “Boris Ryzhy. Introduction to Mythology” by Alexey Melnikov / T. A. Arsenova . In Philological Class. 2019. №2 (56). P. 78-89. DOI 10.26170/FK19-02-10.